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RQ: Challenges Living Overseas

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This week’s reader question asks about the hardships one faces living overseas.

Also, what are the biggest challenges/hardships of daily life at hardship posts overseas that you’ve found?  I’ve never lived in such countries, so this is something I’m very interested in learning more about.

Like all answers I post to RQs, your mileage will probably vary.

I am a creature of habit.  I like to start my day the same way, shop at the same stores, eat at the same set of restaurants, say the same things to get the desired results.  To some extent everyone has their own comfort zone.

Overseas this comfort zone turns into more of an isolation zone.  You become a creature of habit because numerous factors work against you branching out; whether that’s the local language, the security situation, exhaustion from a 12 hour day, or the general strain and drain that everyone feels at every post at some point.  The situations I find most difficult are those in which my routine gets majorly interrupted in a way that I don’t know how to recover from.  This can be anything from a week(s)-long power outage to the store being closed unexpectedly when you run out of a staple foodstuff.

This is not to scare anyone away or get anyone depressed about the prospects of assignment overseas.  It’s just part of the lifestyle.  It will happen to you at some point, and you will probably hate it.  But, I can guarantee that you’ll learn from the experience and you’ll probably get a good story out of it.

Those readers that have lived overseas- how would you answer this question?

Be sure to check out past Reader Questions in the Archives.


Written by OSB

06/05/2011 at 06:12

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